Day 6 began with the first time I’d felt really tired in the morning and though I’m sure it won’t be the last time I had hoped I’d feel more like going for a run when faced with 41 hilly miles!
I forgot to say that yesterday at the finish Justin had been grinning away and so I asked him how he’d gone on and surely it had taken him longer than six hours for once? He said yes, he’d been just over 6 hours but that wasn’t why he was grinning… he’d seen a bear on the trail! He thought a young bear about 1 or 2 years old and it had just run along the path ahead of him and dived into the undergrowth!! Argh – my biggest fear before this trip started was being mauled by a bear (not strictly true but it is in my top few million fears – see also stray dogs, lorries going too close to the shoulder and people with guns, just in general). So with this in mind, and remembering the getting lost of yesterday, I decided to run with Mike, it was going to be a long slog of a day going up and down some pretty muddy and unforgiving trails, as well as several miles on old rail road tracks which was easier going.
I was feeling lethargic and weary from the offset and the rain wasn’t helping my grey mood. But we plodded on and Mike kept me entertained with stories of everything from his Grandslam of US 100s to how he met his wife Heidi and his time in the Navy. If it wasn’t for Mike’s cheery and ever-positive nature (you simply cannot get the man down – and heck knows I was glum enough to break anyone!) I don’t think I’d have finished today.
We saw two large lakes, lots of waterfalls, even snow near the tops of the mountains and it was my kind of trail running – interesting and requiring a bit of concentration but the rain and low grey cloud really bothered me. Plus my stomach wasn’t feeling great so I didn’t eat much on the run (usually I’ll have a few energy bars, bananas, some trail mix, crackers and sweets – all topped up with water, gatorade and Gu electrolyte mixture).
Anyway somehow we got round in over 9 hours – a long day but glad to be over. Back at the hotel and out to dinner for burgers and I had my first proper American Milkshake – butterscotch flavour – delicious! And good for topping up the calories! I’ve also remembered to take my iron supplement for the first time in a few days, which could be the cause of my fatigue, oh and running 40 miles a day I suppose.
Tomorrow’s weather is forecast to be unseasonably cold – a low in the 30s, which I think translates to about 2 or 3 degrees Celsius, and of course it will rain so I’m going to be wrapped up well. Whilst it’s raining so much I’ve stopped applying my factor 50 sun cream – I’ll need that for the sunny states!
[Apologies for 2 posts in one evening – yesterday’s hotel wifi was impossible. Normal service now resumed!]